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NDTO News Article

A Rear-view Look at 2015 and Gearing Up for 2016

The North Dakota Trade Office was busy in 2015! NDTO, with our member companies, traveled to 12 countries promoting North Dakota products and services and hosted buyers from 19 countries.  We took the state’s first official trade missions to Sweden and Finland, and hosted our first delegation from Belarus. We traveled again to Colombia, Norway, and Korea, and hosted our fourth annual trade event in China.  These initiatives, along with our ongoing educational programming, networking events, and advocacy in the areas of free trade and improved transportation, have made for a full 2015 – and we’re ready for another busy year in 2016!

Gearing up for 2016

In 2016, NDTO and our members plan to open new markets, strengthen existing trade relationships and continue to hold educational programs and trade talks on today’s important trade issues. Scheduled events include the following:

Outbound Trade Missions

The following are markets that are currently targeted for a trade mission during the first half of 2016.

  • Israel/Egypt – January 2016
    • Focus: Specialty Crops, Aerospace, Cybersecurity
  • India – February 2016
    • Focus: Specialty Crops and various commercial products
  • Colombia – March 2016
    • Focus: Pulse Crops
  • Mexico/Dominican Republic – April 2016
    • Focus: Pulse Crops, specifically beans
  • China – April 2016
    • Focus: Specialty Crops, soybeans, machinery
  • Kyrgyzstan – May 2016
    • Focus: Agro-industrial Equipment & Technology
    • Show: Aiyl Agro International Exhibition
  • South Africa – May 2016
  • Canada – June 2016

Reverse Trade Missions

The following are markets that are currently targeted for reverse trade missions in 2016.

  • Colombia
  • Southeast Asia
  • China
  • India
  • South Korea

International Education Events

  • Inaugural North Dakota ‘Better For You Food Ingredients’ Conference, Medellín, Colombia
    • March 1-9, 2016
  • 4th Annual North Dakota ‘Better For You Food Ingredients’ Conference, as part of  Soybean Food Processing Technology & Equipment Exhibition in Shanghai, China
    • April 14-15, 2016

These events give North Dakota value-added food exporters the opportunity to demonstrate their high-quality products to buyers, food producers and research and development specialists, on the ground in both China and Colombia.

Networking Events

  • North Dakota Global Business Connections Conference, March 30-31, 2016
  • Big Iron International Visitor’s Program, September 12-15, 2016

A Rearview Look at 2015

Our North Dakota exporters and international business resources have been busy in the past 12 months.  The value of the dollar, expanding geopolitical turmoil, and low commodity prices haven’t made it the easiest year for global business. However, our exporters are riding out the downswing and continuing to be successful.  Below are some of the initiatives that were led by NDTO.

Trade Missions

  • Agritek Astana Trade Show – March 2015
  • Singapore Trade Mission – March 2015
  • Colombia Trade Mission – March 2015
  • China Targeted Reverse Trade Trip – March 2015
  • China-North Dakota Better for You Food Ingredients Conference & Exhibition – April 2015
  • Belarus Reverse Trade Mission – April 2015
  • Aiyl Agro Show, Kyrgyzstan – May 2015
  • Canadian Farm Progress Show – June 2015
  • Korea Targeted Reverse Trade Trip – June 2015
  • China Reverse Trade Mission – August 2015
  • Colombia Reverse Trade Mission – August 2015
  • Singapore Targeted Reverse Trade Mission – September 2015
  • KazAgro Farm Show – October 2015
  • Korea Bean Sprout Reverse Trade Mission – October 2015
  • Learning Journey to Cuba (led by NDDA) – October 2015
  • Nordic Trade Mission (Norway, Sweden, Finland) – October 2015

Educational Events

  • The State of the Global Economy
  • Import Process A-to-Z
  • Business Opportunities in Norway
  • Planning for Business Disruptions in the Supply Chain
  • Business Opportunities in Latvia
  • Prepare your Company for the Transition to ACE
  • Business Opportunities in India
  • US Export Controls and Sanctions Update
  • HACCP Training

Networking Events

  • Global Business Awards 2015
  • Big Iron 2015
    • North Dakota hosted 75 visitors from 14 countries, including Australia, China, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Liberia, Romania, South Africa, and Tanzania.

Other Initiatives

NDTO was awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration’s State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program grant for $287,694 to assist North Dakota companies in growing exports state-wide. The funds are used within a financial reimbursement program that supports small businesses participating in international sales trips, trade missions, and international shows.

NDTO was awarded $179,596 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through its Specialty Crop Block Grant. The NDTO uses the funds within its Specialty Crop Program with the goal of increasing global market visibility and competitiveness of the North Dakota specialty crop sector.

NDTO helped form the North Dakota Intermodal Initiative (NDII) to assist ND importers and exporters to improve access to international markets at competitive rates.  Additionally through the NDII, NDTO continues to work on logistics issues in the state of North Dakota to include both intermodal cargo and harmonization of truck weights and lengths.  This effort has been funded in part by a grant from the ND Department of Commerce and ND Department of Transportation, and supplemented by industry groups and private companies.

If you have any questions about the NDTO initiatives mentioned in this article, please email or call (701) 231-1150.